The Church and fascism
#11
Quote:1. Is the Church fascist? (On the basis of objective definition)
No, it isn't. 
Ask it in reverse. Is fascism Catholic?
You could take any social structure and apply it here and you'd have the same thing.
You could show a republic to be fascist because they can be said to have those qualites.
Wikipedia, but highly cited Wrote:Fascism is a radical, authoritarian nationalist ideology that aims to create a single-party state with a government led by a dictator who seeks national unity and development by requiring individuals to subordinate self-interest to the collective interest of the nation or race.
The Church is not radical or nationalist. It is for all people and systems of government. The people are not assimilated in the Church, but willfully submit because it is the right thing to do. It is not the Church's mission to enforce its rules over its followers (to a degree. Those with authority will be held by those above them). 
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#12
Quote:Ask it in reverse. Is fascism Catholic?

Yes. Read everything that I wrote above.

Quote:You could show a republic to be fascist because they can be said to have those qualites.

If the republic had those qualities, then yes, that republic would be fascist. A republic can indeed be fascist.

Quote:Fascism is a radical, authoritarian nationalist ideology that aims to create a single-party state with a government led by a dictator who seeks national unity and development by requiring individuals to subordinate self-interest to the collective interest of the nation or race.

1. The Church is a nationalist new Israel, and Catholics must vehemently defend the Church and put the Church before any other earthly nation or people. The Church is superior to all other groups.

2. Go ahead and ask around how many people really believe the Catholic Church isn't radical. Radical is a subjective term.

3. There is one party in the Catholic "state" - the orthodox one. The "right-thinking" "party".

4. The Pope, when he makes it expressedly clear that he speaks from the Infallible Magisterium is Infallible.

5. The Church maintains a strict unity.

6. Individual feelings or interpretations matter not... the Church's authority for the collective people of God supersedes it all. On what basis? On the basis of God's authority.
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#13
JonathanCid,

You are simply confusing terms.  Frankly, you are doing it throughout your post. 

"As for the Church not forbidding those things for the collective, I truly asked a question... would the Church recommend it be outlawed in a confessional society, for instance? I'm not sure what position would be taken there. Thus, I asked questions, and offered a hypothetical for consideration. With regards to an individual's good standing in conflict with the collective good in the secular world, it may be more apt to say that this may happen in the temporal world. The Church may not be part of the secular world, but is very much a part of the temporal."

First, you did more than ask about whether the Church approves of the suppression of vices like pornography on behalf of the common good (which is a better term than "the collective").  You also said of the Church that it "- Sacrifice individual interests for God's collective"  What does "God's collective" mean?  This is simply a novel expression.  In regard to

The Church does not demand the sacrifice of individual interests for "God's collective," which is an expression I have never heard.  The Church does approve of restrictions on certain civil liberties in the name of the common good within the political sphere.  HOWEVER, this is not an exclusive trait of "fascism."  The Church was perfectly fine with censorship as exercised by the United States govt. and individual states in the first half of the 20th century.  The United States govt. was not "fascist," yet individual liberties were curtailed for the common good and degeneracy was repressed.  So the fact that the Church does not agree with liberals' treatment of individual civil liberties and of degeneracy does *not* make the Church fascist, as many other societies are similarly illiberal without being fascist. 

"I would say that the Communist ideology, not philosophy, is fascist. And the Church cannot be Communist, because does not demonstrate the traits of Communist philosophy, and holds different values."

How are you distinguishing between "ideology" and "philosophy"?  The Church does not demonstrate the traits of Communist "philosophy," but neither does it demonstrate the traits of fascist "philosophy."  It holds different values.

"Since when did the Church quit being the Church Militant? After Vatican II... oh yes, that's right... You are correct that in terms of morality, the Church does not approve of the "worship of wars of aggression" and favors no nation over another. In practice, however, that is arguable... but not a discussion that I feel is appropriate for this forum. What is certain is that the Church most certainly wants to conquer the entire earth for Christ! Spiritually, at least. The Church is very much militant and promotes a spiritual warfare."

Here, you once more confuse terms in an unacceptable manner.  Yes, the Church is militant.  Yes, the Church wishes to "conquer the world."  However, this is first and foremost a spiritual conflict.  Fascism, whether with a capital or small "f," entails an unacceptable worship of *military conflict,* with actual guns.  Fascist leaders usually seek to expand their national borders and undervalue the goods of peace. 

Plus, once again, "fascism" is not the only type of political organization that promotes a healthy respect for the military.  The better model is to think of the earth as a Kingdom.  We are fighting to reclaim the earth for its king.  To that extent, the concept of royalty (as in Christ the King) is much better than that of fascism for the use of analogy. 

"Where the Church is involved with the state, there is nothing left untouched by the Church's morality. The law must submit to the Church. Whether you like that or not, the Church becomes all-encompassing. Pope Pius XI did indeed condemn Italian Fascism."

I did not deny that the Church is all-encompassing.  I deny that fascism is a legitimate analogy for this universality of influence.  Insofar as fascism entails an all-encompassing, totalitarian state, it entails an illegitimate encroachment of the state upon spheres that do not belong to it.  The Church does not demand any illegitimate encroachment upon the state.  Indeed, the Church does not claim any right to dictate prudential matters to states, or to dictate between legitimate moral options (republic vs. monarchy, etc.).  To say the Church is "fascist" is to imply the sort of *illegitimate,* crushing totalitarianism found in fascism.  The Church does not embue society in this way. 

"The negative connotations of fascism are a matter of interpretation of the data regarding fascism. The reason I warned against subjective reactions to the word is precisely to focus on the objective date, the definitions, and the comparisons. Subjective interpretations and feelings about fascism are irrelevant. Also, where the Church has power, the Church law encompasses the entirety of the state. Every institution bleeds Catholicism. Furthermore, talk of the Church being encompassed by a secular totalitarian fascist-state is irrelevant, at least as far as that particular point goes. I simply state facts regarding what happened during that period, and made no implication the nation was under the rule of the Church. I pointed out, in fact, the very reasons why Mussolini was involved with the Church. It had nothing to do with Mussolini's approval of the Church. It had nothing to do with whether the Church demonstrated the defining characteristics of fascism. Ideologically, yes, ideologically, Fascism is incompatible with Catholicism. But that does not mean the Church does not meet the defining characteristics of fascism. "

How are you defining "subjective" and "objective"?  Fascism as an ideology is wrong, objectively, as it gives to much power to the state, to the nation, and to the appeal to force.  It also favors the centralized state over subsidiarity. 

"But that does not mean the Church does not meet the defining characteristics of fascism"

Here is your single biggest error.  The defining characteristics of fascism include *political* totalitarianism.  The Church does not claim to dictate everything in the state.  The Church embues every aspect of the state with the Christian spirit, but the Church does not usurp the state and run it from the top down as a fascist party does in a fascist state. 

"The degeneracy fascism concerns itself with is collective socio-cultural degeneration. That is the degeneration the Church concerns itself with... loss of traditional values, if you will. In liberal philosophy, the basis for punishment is purely based on force and coercion. The Church's all-encompassing lifestyle is demanded, and obedience is demanded. The Church claims She is owed obedience due to the authority given by Almighty, Omnipotent God. Has the Church ever claimed "here's what we say, but you don't really have to obey any of it"? You are comparing the subjective analysis of whether the Church's fascist nature is a good thing, or better than the Fascism of Mussolini or the vicious fascism of others. Again, I did not post this to have a subjective argument. I wouldn't be so despicable as to compare Catholics to Nazis or Fascists. It wouldn't be honest. It wouldn't be fair. And it would be subjective. The Church is also the new Israel. And obedience is due because it is due to God, and the fear and worship of God are virtuous."

The Church does *NOT* concern itself *primarily* with "collective socio-cultural degeneration."  If you think this, you have serious errors on your hands.  The Church concerns itself primarily with *personal vices,* regardless of whether they lead to "collective socio-cultural degeneration."  The Church is less concerned with changing the world than with making sure that *you* are merely in the world, and not of it.  That is not "fascist" in the least. 

Why do you keep introducing the word "subjective" into the conversation?  The Church is right -- objectively true.  Fascism and Naziism entail massive errors -- objectively true. 

"When you are speaking of "secularization", you are speaking of naturalism versus supernaturalism. This has nothing to do with the political scale. There are spheres of life that fall outside of the state's authority, yes, but nothing that falls out of God's, and by extension, the Church's. "

You said that Fascism is opposed to liberalism, which you implied would make it comparable to the Church.  Actually, liberalism and Fascism both entail errors that the Church condemns. 

"Certainly it does. What the Church considers sin dangerous to the whole of a Catholic nation must be suppressed. "

The Church doess not define as sin simply those things that are dangerous "to the whole of a Catholic nation."  The Church condemns as sin those things that prove detrimental to *souls* of *Catholics,* never mind the "nation" part.  If something imperils souls, then it is contrary to the common good, then it may be suppressed.  You are placing the emphasis in the wrong place.  The Church is not primarily concerned with the fate of "Catholic nations" but of the Catholics who make up a nation.  *They* go to heaven or hell. 

"All societies remove those who do harm, but not all societies do it on the basis of socio-cultural moral degeneracy."

Once again, the Church does not define sins first and foremost in terms of "socio-cultural moral degeneracy," but rather in terms of personal vice.  Christ did not militate to have the govt. rein in prostitutes and tax collectors.  Rather, he called them by name and converted them. 

Plus, societies that are not fascist also suppress "socio-cultural moral degeneracy."  They just do it without fascism. 

So, there is nothing characteristically fascist about the Church.  If anything, I'd have to say that your entire comparison is highly subjective.  The Church compares itself to a kingdom and to a city and to a mystical body, not to a fascist regime.  The standard metaphors (and realities) are good enough and accurate, unlike the fascist comparison, which fails on numerous fronts. 


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#14
The simple answer is: no.

The simple reason is: the Church existed having those properties long before the political theory of fascism.  Therefore, it cannot be fascist.  Maybe fascism stole some ideas, or got some ideas from the same source (i.e., the Roman Empire), but that doesn't make the Church fascist.





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#15
The Pope is *not* a dictator!  A dictator has extra-constitutional (i.e. tyrannical) powers.  In the Church we have traditions and laws and *dogmas* that circumscribe the authority of the Pope.  He is a sovereign, but he cannot add or subtract from his sovereign claims and rights, as a dictator can.  He is a steward for a king, *not* a dictator.  The Church is a monarchy, not a dictatorship.  This is a matter of definition, not of evaluation.

Furthermore, your distinction between objectivity and subjectivity is incorrect.  Things can be objectively right or wrong, hence evaluations of right and wrong are not necessarily subjective.

Furthermore, as I keep telling you, the Church in her internal affairs does *not* subject individual interest to the common good as there can be no conflict between the two.  Indeed the common good of the Church is the eternal salvation of its individual members.  No one can have a legitimate personal interest against his own salvation or his neighbor's.  When the Church maintains order and discipline for its own common good, it is *not* some *fundamental* choice in favor of a "collective" good over a private one.  The Church may tolerate some wrong for the common good, but when an individual's salvation is at stake, no "common good" may be invoked against it.  The good of souls -- i.e. charity -- is the supreme law.  So, if preference for the common good over individual good is a fundamental aspect of fascism, right there we see your whole comparison evaporate. 
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#16
Quote:You are simply confusing terms. Frankly, you are doing it throughout your post.

I have been very clear about the terms, and you may seek their definitions.

Quote:Here is your single biggest error. The defining characteristics of fascism include *political* totalitarianism. The Church does not claim to dictate everything in the state. The Church embues every aspect of the state with the Christian spirit, but the Church does not usurp the state and run it from the top down as a fascist party does in a fascist state.

There is nothing in the state that is not free from the Church. The Church's beliefs and the law of the state are pieced perfectly together, thus essentially making the Church and state one. Because they work so perfectly together, the Church is involved with and does control and/or influence everything. And if you say that the Church does not usurp the state, try explaining to a secular nation that the state will now be under the constant influence and supervision of the Catholic Church, and see what they consider that.

Also -

subjective: based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions

objective: not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts

There is no "fascist" epithet being applied to the Church here. There is no claim that the Church is ideologically Fascist. Simply comparisons drawn wherein the polity of the Church and the way that the Church interacts with the state, say, in a confessional state, can be called fascist. There is a case to be made. Can it be said that it is a benevolent fascism? That is it justified? Etc.? Certainly. That's a separate debate. But objectively speaking, the characteristics of the Church are at one with the characterists of small-"f" fascism.

Quote:The simple answer is: no.

The simple reason is: the Church existed having those properties long before the political theory of fascism. Therefore, it cannot be fascist. Maybe fascism stole some ideas, or got some ideas from the same source (i.e., the Roman Empire), but that doesn't make the Church fascist.

Quis, I understand what you're saying but I use the term "fascism" because, as I've demonstrated already, the Church meets the characteristics of fascism. I couldn't call the Fascism of Mussolini a perverted "political Catholicism" because Catholicism is not a political ideology/philosophy. But in terms of the Church's polity and political views, the Church meets the characteristics of fascism. And again, the negative associations of that word must be removed if one intends to be objective... if one associates feelings with the word, or allows their feelings and devotion for the Church to involve itself with definitions, one is not being objective.

Quote:The Pope is *not* a dictator! A dictator has extra-constitutional (i.e. tyrannical) powers. In the Church we have traditions and laws and *dogmas* that circumscribe the authority of the Pope. He is a sovereign, but he cannot add or subtract from his sovereign claims and rights, as a dictator can. He is a steward for a king, *not* a dictator. The Church is a monarchy, not a dictatorship. This is a matter of definition, not of evaluation.

The Pope's power is absolute in temporal affairs. This is a discussion on polity, not theology.

Quote:Furthermore, your distinction between objectivity and subjectivity is incorrect. Things can be objectively right or wrong, hence evaluations of right and wrong are not necessarily subjective.

Discussion over right/wrong was precluded to begin with in this discussion. If that's the discussion you seek, it's not what I've spoken about here.

Quote:Furthermore, as I keep telling you, the Church in her internal affairs does *not* subject individual interest to the common good as there can be no conflict between the two. Indeed the common good of the Church is the eternal salvation of its individual members. No one can have a legitimate personal interest against his own salvation or his neighbor's. When the Church maintains order and discipline for its own common good, it is *not* some *fundamental* choice in favor of a "collective" good over a private one. The Church may tolerate some wrong for the common good, but when an individual's salvation is at stake, no "common good" may be invoked against it. The good of souls -- i.e. charity -- is the supreme law. So, if preference for the common good over individual good is a fundamental aspect of fascism, right there we see your whole comparison evaporate.

If every sin of the individual has consequences for the whole, the Church must subjugate those individuals who cause "public scandal" and "contaminate" the collective. I know full well that I would be subjugated and censored under a Catholic confessional state. Please do not tell me that the Church has any concern for my rights, or that the Church would not censor anything I had to say if it contradicted what the Church said in order to protect the collective from what it may regard as diabolical.
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#17
Rosarium Wrote:
Quote:- Authoritarian
Yes, God is the authority. Is that so strange? 

Quote:- Sacrifice individual interests for God's collective
That doesn't make any sense. 
Quote:- All-encompassing lifestyle

That doesn't make sense. A person follows their beliefs in all aspects of their life if they are truly held.
Quote:- Removal of "degenerate" heretics and wicked influences

Don't all societies do this?

Aha.  Ahahahaha.  Some more than others says the conservative American.

In my opinion there would be nothing compelling a fascist government that permitted freedom of religion and did not commit politically motivated murder to be at odds with the church.  Unfortunately, with the exception of possibly the first decade of Mussolini, this hasn't happened.
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#18
Quote:Aha. Ahahahaha. Some more than others says the conservative American.
I meant it in a more general sense. "Removal of "degenerate" heretics and wicked influences" is being relative in that sense, in that heretic and wicked are whatever is contrary the values of the rulers. So in the modern USA society, those who express moral judgements based on God, are "heretics" to society and are basically rejected for they disagree with the values of the society at large. 
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#19
Quote:I meant it in a more general sense. "Removal of "degenerate" heretics and wicked influences" is being relative in that sense, in that heretic and wicked are whatever is contrary the values of the rulers. So in the modern USA society, those who express moral judgements based on God, are "heretics" to society and are basically rejected for they disagree with the values of the society at large.

Yes, but the difference is that in the modern USA you are free to say what you like, and people are free to dislike what you say. Under, say, a Catholic confessional state, I may not say what I like. Period. And if I do, there are consequences. Freedom is not a political value for such a state.
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#20
Quote:Yes, but the difference is that in the modern USA you are free to say what you like, and people are free to dislike what you say. Under, say, a Catholic confessional state, I may not say what I like. Period. And if I do, there are consequences. Freedom is not a political value for such a state.
In a Catholic state, you would be able to believe whatever you want, as long as you don't endanger others. 
In the USA, a very broad term, for it is a bunch of states with different laws, freedom of expression varies anyway. Freedom has a different meaning for such a state. In the USA, the freedom to kill your babies, have unnatural sexual relations with anyone you please as long as they are 18 and consensual, speak against God, actively try to pull people away from God is what freedom means. In the Catholic state, freedom would be freedom to do what is right. One would not be allowed to be a danger to others. 
Consider that. Which is more admirable? 
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